Sunday Wisdom No. 10

Happy Sunday!

Welcome to a new edition of Sunday Wisdom—a newsletter on the principles of life, strategy, and antifragility.

My Latest Article

The Benjamin Franklin Effect: Why It’s Better to Ask For a Favour Than Do One — In his 84-year life, Benjamin Franklin was America’s best scientist, inventor, diplomat, writer, and business strategist. He was also a master in the game of personal politics. To climb the social ladder, he had a latticework of secret weapons, one of which was the Benjamin Franklin Effect.

“He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another, than he whom you yourself have obliged.”

According to it, you tend to like the people to whom you are kind and dislike the people to whom you are rude. So the correct way to build rapport is to ask for a favour, not do one.

Documentary Worth Watching

The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz (YouTube) — This depicts the life of Aaron Swartz — an American computer programmer, entrepreneur, and Internet activist. He’s also credited as one of Reddit’s cofounder. Swartz’s work focused on civic awareness and activism. He founded the online group Demand Progress, known for its campaign against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). I was crying in the end.

An Idea For You

You don’t change people. People change themselves.

Forcing change, or trying to guilt people into changing aren’t effective strategies.

Therefore, articulate your thoughts so that people question their own beliefs. Let them decide independently. Devoid of any force or pressure. Let them come to the conclusion on their own. Then it’ll be a permanent change.

Articles Worth Reading

Schadenfreude with Bite — “The troll has it both ways. He is magnificently indifferent to social norms, which he transgresses for the lulz, yet often at the same time a vengeful punisher: both the Joker and Batman. The troll acts as a self-appointed cultural critic in a tradition of clowns and jesters, while simultaneously plausibly maintaining that it’s all in good fun and shouldn’t be taken (too) seriously.”

Adam Neumann and The Art of Failing Up — While WeWork’s future looks morbid, former CEO Adam Neumann exited the company with $1Bn. It’s a good lesson on how we often get fooled by show and tell. It’s also a lesson on banking upon one’s qualities, and how not to be a sucker.

Worth Thinking About

“There is no more unmistakable sign of failure than that of a middle-aged man boasting of his successes in college.” — Nassim Nicholas Taleb

As always, please give me feedback. Do you have any comments, questions, or tips that you wish to share? Anything that you liked in today’s edition? Let me know. Just send me a note!

The past three editions of Sunday Wisdom: 0908, and 07.

Until next Sunday!



My work is free. But it takes me hundreds of cups of coffee a month to research, write, and record the content for If you find joy and value in what I do, please consider buying me a cup. Buy Me Coffee.